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Saturday May 18, 2024

Group of ‘Well-wishers of Pakistan’ in the making to resolve ‘rift between IK, Establishment’

A few weeks back Lt-General (R) Naeem Khalid Lodhi had claimed that the military establishment had contacted Imran Khan

By Ansar Abbasi
April 20, 2024
PTI founder and former prime minister Imran Khan. — AFP/File
PTI founder and former prime minister Imran Khan. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: A group of “well-wishers of Pakistan” is joining hands to evolve a strategy not only to resolve the growing rift between Imran Khan and the military establishment but also make the political parties sit together for greater good of people and the country.

The group includes some senior “neutral” politicians and a retired general. One of them confided to The News that so far at least three “well-wishers of Pakistan” are in contact with one another, some others may join, to discuss the strategy for national cohesion and political stability.

These three include two former federal ministers and a well-known retired three star general. All the three are known faces. At this stage these “well-wishers of Pakistan” are not keen to disclose their names but they are discussing how they can use their connections both within the military and in politics to bring an end to politics of enmity and hatred. One major concern of the group is to resolve the rift between Imran Khan and the military establishment. Talking about the rifts, the source said that there is a conflict between Imran Khan and the military establishment, PTI and the ruling coalition parties also don’t talk to each other whereas IHC’s six judges letter also showed a divide within the judiciary. It is said that the current situation is not good for the country, which needs political stability as well as respect for all the institutions.

“Once we finalise our strategy, we may share our thoughts with the media,” the source said, indicating that it may not take long.

From the views expressed in TV talk shows during recent months by these “well-wishers of Pakistan, it can be assessed that their main focus will possibly be to resolve the differences between Imran Khan/PTI and the military establishment. There has been no direct interaction between Imran Khan/PTI and the military establishment since Nov 2022. Imran Khan and other leaders of the PTI have been frustratingly seeking a direct contact with the military establishment but it did not happen as yet. There have been some unconfirmed reports about some indirect contacts but the ground realities remain unchanged for both Imran Khan and his party.

A few weeks back former secretary defence Lt-General (R) Naeem Khalid Lodhi had claimed that the military establishment had contacted Imran Khan but there was no outcome. Talking to The News, the retired general had said it was in his knowledge that the military establishment had indirectly contacted Imran Khan.

He said the message for Imran Khan was to admit that he had planned the May 9 attacks, apologise for the same and assure that he would never repeat any such act in future. Lodhi added that Imran Khan replied he never planned the May 9 attacks, condemned those involved in arson and hooliganism and said he would ensure those who were involved in these incidents were removed from the PTI.